Internet users in the country increased 10.9% to 538 million by the end of June 2012
Chinese government reveals that the number of microbloggers in the country have reached 234 million as of June 2012, claiming world’s highest number of microbloggers in the country.
According to China Internet Network Information Center’s annual report published by Social Sciences Academic Press, the number of Internet users in the country increased 10.9% to 538 million by the end of June 2012, representing that four of ten Chinese people had regularly accessed the Internet.
The report also revealed that by 2015, China will have about 800 million internet users, with a quarter of those in the countryside.
The ban of social media sites including Twitter and Facebook in China, had increased usage of microblogs during the past few years providing channel for Chinese people to express themselves, mainly regarding public issues.
According to a report from a team of social sciences experts led by Institute of Journalism and Communication of the Chinese Academy of Social Science director Yin Yungong, there were about 63 million microbloggers in 2010.
"Social networks have begun to set the agenda of public opinion and affected public emotions in some incidents, such as the high-speed train crash near Wenzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang province, in July last year," the report said.
"Governments have realised the influence of social networks and put more effort into working with them."
The report also revealed that in addition to microblogging, instant messaging has also been admired by the Chinese people and has surpassed the use of search engines, music and news as the most popular online application.